Tag Archive | "Tennis"

The ‘Social Shack’ and having fun with Vine: Interview with Tennis Australia’s Daniel Lattimer


We’re delighted to bring you some insights from the current Australian Open, which is now well into it’s first week in the searing heat.  Daniel Lattimer is the Social Media Coordinator for Tennis Australia, a position he has held since 2011, and has been working on Australian Opens since 2010.  So he’s now an experienced hand when it comes to running the digital side of a Grand Slam tennis event.

We managed to grab a few minutes of his time between games…

Thank you Daniel for taking time out from your busy day.  The 2014 Australian Open is now upon us once again, how excited are you about a years worth of planning coming to fruition?

It’s always exciting to have such large event on the horizon that allows you to try new initiatives, especially in the digital and social space. It’s hard to tell how your ideas will go, with such a long time between tournaments, but it adds to the excitement and anticipation  of the tournament.

 

The AO always appears to be looking to break new ground especially in digital.  Can we expect anything new this year?

Our two biggest initiatives this year are the ‘Social Shack‘ and developing our apps for mobile. We working on weaving social media into everything we create, for example the iPad app -  Fans will be able to tweet messages of support to their favourite players directly from a player profile. The shack is an idea to bring all of the great content and publishing we do online for social into a localised physical space. We’ll be producing content, like twitter q&a’s and inviting players down to the studio to interact with fans. We’re concentrating on bringing fans closer to the tournament and players, deepening out engagement.

YouTube Preview Image

 

Last year we saw that the event had a presence on a number of platforms (Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Google+, Foursquare and Pinterest).  Has this altered after last year’s event?  And do you see a role for the likes of Foursquare, G+ and Pinterest in the future?

There is definitely a role for all of these channels plus more! However, we don’t want to overload the audience when they first connect with us. So we concentrate on the larger ones in terms of promotion and continue to work on the other channels to experiment with content and what experience we can offer for those audiences.

 

The Social Leaderboard has been one of my favourite features over the past couple of years.  What we can expect from it this time round?

Thanks :-) We continue to develop the leaderboard with our partner IBM tracking conversation and sentiment. There haven’t been a lot of changes this year, we’ve made the leaderboard more prominent on the website, but we continue to weave social media into a variety of activities across our digital platforms and developing the social shack has been a priority for this years tournament.

Social Leaderboard

 

Vine seems to be a tool that you are using a lot this year.  Has there been a lot of testing with it over the past few months? and what content can we expect to see?

We’ve had a lot of fun with Vine and try to create unique content. The difficulty with this is time and getting a quick turnaround. You will see some behind the scenes and match point content with Vine, but we’re also using Snappy TV to turn around quick video content on Twitter. Our aim is always to get ‘the moment’ out on our channels as quickly as possible.

 

Aside from Vine, video content was a major trend last year. What are your plans for the likes of YouTube this time round?  I saw some of the Rod Laver/Roger Federer night live on the platform that was available to fans outside of Australia. Will you be doing the same for some matches?

Broadcast rights mean we can’t live stream within certain territories, including Australia. In the lead up we stream the qualifying and wildcard playoffs. We understand the desire of the audience for video and with the use of platforms like Vine  we hope to turn around quick bite-size content alongside features and highlights.

 

I read recently about the #sleepisfortheweak crew. How did that come about and how did you as part of the event step in to engage with these international fans?

This occurred very organically a few tournaments ago and one of the team members just thought of the hashtag, from there, it’s grown into a tribe that we engage with yearly. We really love the way it has developed organically and enjoy having a group of followers that have really embraced it. We see the hashtag appear during other Grand Slams. We like that.

 

You made a big push on the iPad with the app last year.  How much interaction are you now seeing from mobile and tablets? 

We see a massive growth in mobile with 2013 apps and this growth hasn’t slowed. We’ve developed an iPad app this year focused around the players, scores and draw, again weaving in social media, being able to tweet to players directly and the australian open

 

We’ve been talking a lot here in the UK about ‘networked stadiums’, ensuring wifi and/or 3G connectivity. Is this something you see as being essential for fans attending the event, and how do you ensure they can get onto Twitter/Facebook?

Definitely an essential to have and our IT department and various stakeholders improve on this greatly each year. Especially with the onsite presence of the social shack, fans being able to share content immediately is a huge advantage.

 

You’re now in the midst of your busiest time.  What will a ‘normal’ day entail for you during the tournament?

Once the tournament is here we set our plans in motion and spend most of the day ironing out bugs and making sure we’re keeping the audience up to date with all the latest. It’s the busiest in terms of covering a lot of matches and events in the first week. When the playing field thins out it’s still a made house because the level of matches goes up a notch and everyone is looking at the one match on centre court, so being able to feed that content to the audience is important.

 

Once it is all over, many people find that the downtime between events/campaigns is the hardest to keep fans engaged during.  How do you plan for that and what have you been doing these last 11 months to keep them on board?

The amount that we publish decreases but we continue to update our audience with highlights and stories from the tournament. We also have archived match AOvault which we publish. Competitions and engagement with our Grand Slams.

 

Thanks to Daniel for taking time out from a very busy Australian Open to answer these questions.  How has the tournament been going so far from what you have seen?  have you been to the Social Shack?  We’d love to hear your thoughts.

 

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8 out of top 10 UK Twitter trends in 2013 sports related


Twitter has released its top UK trends of the year so far (there are still a few days left for something to creep in there) and it will come to little surprise, to fans or Twitter users, that sport leads the way for when people are using the platform most.

Last year the Olympics brought the country together in a way we’ve never seen before.  It was truly the social media games and gives Rio in 2016 a hell of a benchmark to work to.  This year we haven’t had that key sporting event so the field is more widely spread.

Football was again the big winner, with the biggest spike seen on Twitter in the UK being Manchester United being knocked out of the UEFA Champions League by Cristiano Ronaldo’s Real Madrid.

It’s interesting that this was ahead of the biggest sporting news for the country this year.  That was of course Andy Murray becoming the first British man to win the Wimbledon singles title since Fred Perry back in 1936.  That only made 3rd place in the table.

The other big sporting moments were;

  • England draw 2-2 with Brazil in a friendly, in a match that marked the official reopening of the Maracanã stadium ahead of the Brazil 2014 World Cup
  • Real Madrid beat Borussia Dortmund (2-0) in the Champions League semi-final second leg, but are knocked out of the championships on aggregate
  • Wigan win the FA Cup Final, the first major trophy in their history
  • England beat Scotland 3-2 in an international friendly at Wembley
  • Bayern Munich beat FC Barcelona 4-0 in the first leg of the Champions League semi-final, equalling Barcelona’s worst ever European defeat in their history
  • England beat Poland 2-0, qualifying for a place in the Brazil 2014 World Cup

So what were those non-sporting moments that deprived sport of taking all 10 places?  They were New Years Eve and Mumford & Sons closing performance at Glastonbury.

Digging more into football and sport generally.  You can see the Top 10 trends for both sections, showing how big football is in this country.  It is our number 1 sport by some distance for a reason.

One interesting fact to take out of the ‘other sport’ table is that 4 were events that happened outside of the UK and didn’t involve any british teams/players.  They were of course, #NFL, #ThankYouSachin, Superbowl and #RedSox.  Showing that when you take away football, our sporting tastes are quite eclectic when placed alongside rugby, cricket, tennis, athletics and F1.

Twitter sport 2013

 

 

Posted in cricket, Football, Social Media, Sport, Tennis, TwitterComments (0)

Summer of Sport: Comparison of 4 Sports Events and their use of Twitter


Sports Digital Agency Seven League, founded by Richard Ayers (former Head of Digital at Manchester City), has put together an interesting piece of research based around one month of sporting events in the UK.  Here is what they found…

Within two weeks at the end of June and start of July 2013, there were four great sporting moments in the space of a fortnight;

  • The British and Irish Lions defeating Australia in the 3rd Test
  • The British GP at Silverstone
  • The Wimbledon Finals weekend
  • The First Test of the Ashes

Whilst the shortest of these was only 80 minutes, when you consider the build-up and the aftermath there is a significant window of attention around each event.  It’s important that the Twitter accounts for each sport capitalise on this attention by building up to the event, covering the day of the event, having live coverage and then maintaining their activity post event.  They compared the four major events in order to understand the differences, strengths and weaknesses in their twitter performance.

Summary

Four different approaches were taken to tweeting across the events

Lions

›  The Lions tweets were informative and celebratory, with a larger emphasis on rallying support from followers than any of the other events

British GP 

›  The Silverstone account was mainly used for customer service — it primarily tweeted responses to questions and traffic information, with very few general tweets discussing the race

Wimbledon

›  Wimbledon’s tweets were very informative, focused mainly around set commentary and quoting from interviews after matches. They used hashtags more than any of the other three events

The First Test

›  The ECB First Test coverage follows a distinct pattern —behind-the-scenes photos and videos of the players warming up in the morning, commentary of the tests in the afternoon and finally links to interviews/videos from that day in the evening. They are the only account to really tap into audio, and were more comfortable using a wider range of platforms (e.g. Vine)

Summer of Sport

 

Observations

Silverstone takes a very different approach to the other three events. It’s very much about customer service rather than engaging and exciting fans.  Of the other three:

The ECB has the best balance of media tweets — it shares photographs, videos and links evenly. It also is the only account to use audio.  Wimbledon and The ECB are both very informative. However, Wimbledon goes into so much detail that it would alienate casual fans. In contract the ECB appeals more to both casual and hardline fans by only giving basic information in tweets whilst providing links for fans to find out more.  Wimbledon and The Lions were very good at including details of the experience of the event day itself for fans at home.

tweets per day

 

types of tweets per day

 

 

Comparisons by Day – Pre Event

 

pre match tweeting behaviour

 

pre event tweeting 2

 

pre event tweeting behaviour 3

 

 

Comparisons by Day – During Event Tweeting

 

event day tweets

 

event day tweets 2

 

event day tweets 3

 

 

Comparisons by Day – Post Event Tweeting

 

post event tweets

 

post event tweets 2

 

post event tweets 3

 

 

Posted in cricket, F1, Research, Rugby, Social Media, Sport, Tennis, TwitterComments (0)

adidas Tennis test Vine for Djokovic campaign


We’ve seen a number of clubs and brand’s test out Twitter’s short-form video capture/sharing tool Vine over the past few months.  Some have used it to reveal players they have signed and others to capture moments during a game that can quickly be shared.

Now adidas Tennis, who I used to work with during my time at We Are Social, have been looking at ways in which to tease out their new campaign.  The basis from it was a video that gives an insight into the training regime of World number 1, Novak Djokovic, with ‘Performance meets Personality‘.

Twitter recently published the results of an experiment they worked on the MLB over in the States.  It was based around live-tweeting but gave an interesting insight into the sharability of Vine videos compared to other types of content.  It revealed that across all other measures of engagement, Vine videos dramatically increased the ways that followers interacted with a team. The overall impact was that Vines got:

  • 2.3x more retweets than average
  • 1.7x more follower growth
  • 1.8x more mentions
  • 2.1x more favorites

People tweeted more often when the teams posted Vine videos than when they used any of the other live-tweeting strategies — a nearly 5% increase compared to the control sample.

For a brand, the platform represents a different way in which to take snippets of content ahead of a bigger launch.  Could this have the same traction and create the same effect as when it’s used for live-tweeting?  It was tested out with 3 Vines ahead of the video reveal and collectively they gained over 1,000 RT’s and almost the same in favourites – not bad for an account of 40k followers.

The video itself has received around 35k views which, for a video from one of the worlds biggest sports brands and featuring a player with a massive personality and almost as big social media presence (2.3m on Twitter), is a little smaller than am sure was hoped.  It shows that people when it comes to sharing and consuming short form content are a lot happier to do it than in full on an external site such as YouTube.

It also shows the power of engaging with the sports player and involving them in the promotion.  When they have such power on social networks (and in the media generally) then they can push a campaign far more than the brand can on its own.  It’s an interesting campaign by adidas Tennis and their Vine video’s look much better (more professional) then most we have seen.  Am sure we’ll see more from adidas and other brands as the testing and app updates take place over the coming months.

 

Posted in Brands, Tennis, TwitterComments (0)

Twitter: Top Moments From Wimbledon 2013


Last infographic for a while I promise!  There has been a bit of rush of them recently with so much sport going on.  This one is produced by the guys at Social Bakers.  Here is more information from them on their findings;

Which top tennis player gained the most mentions on Twitter? Did your country create the most buzz around the championship? To find out the answers and more, check out our infographic dedicated to the Wimbledon craze!

There was collective disbelief, shock, and awe as Great Britain toasted their first home champion since the long-trouser-wearing Fred Perry 77 years ago. The major success of Andy Murray, referred to as the first British man to win Wimbledon in shorts, was intensively shared via social media.

The official Wimbledon Twitter account provided its followers with regular updates and the number of mentions about this account went through the roof. The profile acquired 135 820 followers and was mentioned 411 348 times during the championship (June 24th – July 7th).

It’s no wonder that United Kingdom, the home of Wimbledon, became the most active to tweet about the matches, the players, and the overall atmosphere from the courts. Almost 70K tweets were posted in response to the fact that a British player finally got his hands on the trophy after eight decades!

French player Marion Bartoli dominated the women´s singles and ended her long wait for a major crown. For the most mentioned players, the most engaging tweets, and the Wimbledon buzz map, check out the infographic!

wimbledon-final

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Andy Murray dominates Wimbledon and Twitter


It was a historic weekend for British sport in what could be described as a golden era.  With London 2012 having given us fans so many perfect moments we wondered if could ever be repeated.

The British & Irish Lions defeated the Aussie’s down under, providing the team with a first tour win in 14 years.  Then Andy Murray stepped up to take his place in sporting folklore. Could he win the Wimbledon title after having reached his second final in succession?  Oh ye of little faith, of course he could!

We all know how it came about after having watched the match, re-watched the highlights and read the countless reams of coverage in the press.  But it was on Twitter that the conversation was taking place at the time, the rest of the coverage was catch up and reflection.

During one 12 hour period on Twitter, Wimbledon was mentioned an astonishing 3.4 million times.  The peak in mentions of the match happened at 17.25 BST with 120,000 tweets per minute recorded.  This eclipsed the 117,601 recorded when the final whistle blew in May to signal Bayern Munich as the 2013 UEFA Champions League winners.

Murray Mentions

Overall there were more than 5 million tweets and Andy was mentioned almost 1 million times, the majority of which were in the last day (obviously).  The others who made up the top 5 in terms of mentions were; Novak Djokovic, Serena Williams, Laura Robson and Sabine Lisicki.

This shows that the story was not only about the winners but also those favourites who stumbled and fell when everyone thought they would easily triumph.  This was certainly the case for Serena Williams.  The other notables were of course Roger Federer, Rafa Nadal and Maria Sharapova.

ESPN courtcast

(ESPN Courtcast)

Top tweet of the day has to go to the man of the moment.  His first tweet after winning the title has been retweeted 89k times and favourited almost as much, 68k.  It was short and simple, summing up what he, and the rest of the country, was thinking…

His main sponsor, adidas, has been very busy throughout the tournament.  With some great looking graphics and an interesting competition running for the whole 2 weeks the #hitthewinner competition certainly hit the mark.

The sportswear giant gave fans the chance to win a t-shirt every time he hit a winner.  This nice image gives some clear instructions on how fans could take part.

To follow this up, they have announced to Murray fans that they also have the chance to #hitthewinner against the man himself.  It’s great timing with the Wimbledon Champion the hottest property in the country at the moment.  Fans can get down to Kennington (near our Pulse Office – but sadly am in Basingstoke today) with the first there getting to have a crack.

The brand also benefitted with the association with Andy.  Over the last week there been obvious peaks in mentions as they ran the competition during matches and celebrated with images of the great man.  At the peak they received over 3k mentions and 54k mentions over the last week for @adidasUK, even more for the adidas brand as a whole (147k).

adidas andy murray

The most reactive tweet, just after the winning shot had been made received over 3k retweets, showing once again the importance of having a simple bespoke image that is used at exactly the right moment.  People at that point want to share something that they want to say themselves but dont have the means.  adidas provided them with this and it was shared many times.

From all of us here at UKSN – Congratulations Andy Murray.  Wimbledon Champion 2013!!

 

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Tennis – The Twitter Connection [Infographic]


Following on with the recent theme of tennis now that Wimbledon has got well underway.  We’ve been seeing some unbelievable matches so far with some of the biggest names crashing out in rounds 1 and 2.

Who would have thought that Roger Federer, Rafa Nadal and Maria Sharapova would all be watching week 2 of the spectacle on their TV’s back home?!  But that is what both they and we are faced with.  Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic will now be overwhelming favourites in the men’s draw and Serena Williams in the Women’s.

The chat so far on Twitter has certainly been all about those who have not done so well.  Over on the ESPN Courtcast [client] we have been monitoring the buzz on Twitter and unsurprisingly it is all about Federer, Nadal, Sharapova and Nadal’s conquerer Steve Darcis (who unfortunately had to pull out ahead of his 2nd round match yesterday).  It is updated in real-time so head over to get your tennis stats fill each day!

ESPN2

With so many more matches to go – we’re only into day 4 remember – there are bound to be more shocks on the cards.  It’s always interesting as well to take a look at which of the top players and on Twitter and, even more interestingly, how this relates to their real world.  By this I mean off-court earnings and how they are utilising their digital presence.  Does it have an impact?  Are they making the most of them? and are their sponsors interested?

Our friends at Unibet have been hard at work and put together this infographic that compares the top men’s players and digs a little deeper into the details.  It’s interesting to see the correlation between digital presence and earnings, or lack of one, but this may be because the likes of Federer has built up such a great brand before social media became the ‘must have’ for sportsmen. It may also be a lack of understanding in some part into how to turn these followings into cash, something many in sport are trying to figure out still.

 

Tennis - The Twitter Connection

Tennis – The Twitter Connection [Infographic] by the team at UniBet

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Google Glass to get first sport-outing at Wimbledon?


Bethanie Mattek-Sands, No. 58 in the WTA rankings, will be wearing Google Glass at Wimbledon this year. The exciting news is the first of its kind and demonstrates Google’s confidence in Glass and their belief that Glass is comfortable, secure and not distracting.

Even ahead of the tournament she has been experimenting with the technology whilst at the Wimbledon player party, sharing some of her pics from the night via the glasses.  The big question now is if she will be allowed by the organisers to wear them during a match.

Google says Mattek-Sands has already benefited from Glass, as have her fans:

“Glass’s potential in the sports realm is huge, and it can connect athletes, coaches, and fans in new ways. For Bethanie, it’s allowed her to capture her strokes from her point of view during practice and share those with her coaches. It also helps her search recipes and perfect her cooking, something that’s important to a professional athlete with dietary allergies and restrictions. Bethanie’s fans can also see the world through her eyes as she embarks upon the road to Wimbledon, where she’ll play her first match next week.”

My first thought was whether or not hand-eye coordination would be affected, but given that Glass is more likely to just be used as a camera, this shouldn’t be an issue. The other consideration is the length of time Glass will record for, and whether or not that will need to be activated on the court. Also, will it live stream? There are lots of questions to be answered.

Obviously, Wimbledon organisers could well jump in an ban it but the mere fact Glass is being considered for live, professional sport is a huge step for the product, and for the future of sports video broadcasting. Just imagine Ian Poulter (he seems the type) wearing Glass on the 18th tee at Augusta in 2014. Or perhaps looking through the batting-eyes of Alistair Cook in the Ashes later this summer… The opportunities are endless.

YouTube Preview Image

Below are a couple of Bethanie’s tweets as she got ready for the Player Party;

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The Digital Side Of Wimbledon 2013 – Who Is Doing What


The iconic Wimbledon Championships start on Monday, and looking ahead of the stand-out event in the Tennis calendar we’ll be going through what digital activations are around and about.

Where can you watch it?

First and foremost, the BBC are following-up last years’ Olympics Coverage with a similar 360 approach to Wimbledon. Viewers will be able to enjoy up to 10 live streams at once via computer, tablet, mobile and TV. Alongside this, there will be regular highlight clips and a regular column with Andy Murray on BBC Sport.

Sony haven’t got any headline Wimbledon activations but they, in conjunction with the BBC, are reported to be trialling their Ultra HD equipment that will allow them to capture 4K footage of Wimbledon. The BBC will then direct and use to record matches in the new format.

UPDATE: Wimbledon Social Section

On a daily basis Wimbledon, in partnership with IBM will be producing some social stats in relation to the day’s play. This is a great addition and emphasises Wimbledon’s commitment to social media in 2013. For example, today, Wimbledon announced:

- Most positively tweeted about
- Mentions of players
- Total Wimbledon-related tweets
- Tweets/minute or second
- Peak Twitter reach

The page also tracks popular hashtags, showing all photos under a competition hashtag of #shotoftheday and also showing all the Wimbledon social streams. It’s definitely worth a look.

The Official App

Wimbledon’s mobile app “in partnership with IBM” has been improved since last year, and alongside the latest news feed, scoreboard, schedule, photos, and video highlights, there will be “Live  @ Wimbledon Radio”, where users can listen to three channels covering The Championships and live match commentary.

wimble app

The app allows users to follow the progress of specific players and receive push notification alerts throughout the Championships. The app is available on iOS and Android for free.

IBM’s SlamTracker

On top of this, IBM and Wimbledon have a statistics-based activation called “SlamTracker”. This has been used already this season, but is definitely worth checking out. SlamTracker is an online dashboard that provides match-by-match predictions and analysis based on seven years’ worth of Grand Slam data, which works out at about 39 million data points. The system tracks data surrounding match outcomes by looking at a player’s aces, faults, errors, playing surface, and more. The dashboard then predicts the patterns likely to emerge in a pending matchup.

To all those thinking they could use it to win a few quid at the bookies, John Kent, program manager of IBM Worldwide Sponsorship Marketing, said:

“It’s not a prediction who will win; it’s a look at what each player needs to do well to have a higher likelihood of winning.”

For example, the dashboard will reveal that a player will need to win more than 72% of points on first serves or convert more than 60% of break point opportunities.  At the French Open, Djokovic, managed to win more than 48% of three-to-eight-shot rallies against Nadal, as SlamTracker prescribed, but he failed to win more than 44% of first-serve return points.

slamtackder

What else are the sponsors cooking up?

Jacobs Creek:              

Jacobs Creek are running a Facebook app to win 1 of 100 pairs of tickets for Wimbledon. They’re asking the user to share their Wimbledon stories to be in with a chance of winning. It’s a little dull, and it’s not made particularly obvious in what shape these stories are to be submitted but it’s worth having a look at. Jacobs Creek currently have hidden areas of the app, such as behind the scenes features, that will eventually liven it up.

Jacobs Creek

Evian:

Evian have launched an ambitious campaign called the ‘Wimbledon Wiggle’. This focuses upon the stance made by players awaiting a serve and preparing a return. The Facebook app encourages users to submit their ‘wiggle’ to be in with a chance of winning Wimbledon tickets. As well as a Facebook app, Evian have a dedicated area on the Wimbledon.com website: http://evian.wimbledon.com/

Here’s the promo video and dedicated song:

YouTube Preview Image

 

Slazenger:

Slazenger are giving away tickets to Wimbledon on Twitter. In a competition that could have been integrated with Facebook, users need to guess the number of tennis balls in a glass case to win tickets to the Wimbledon Final. It’s not clear where the case is positioned but it would have been nice to situate in a busy area of London as the case has the hashtag and call to action on the front.

 

Robinsons:

Have followed a similar vein to Jacobs Creek and have launched a simple Facebook app with a “Spot the Ball” contest. The app is very one-dimensional, and could have been a lot better but it will no-doubt provide Robinsons with Likes, entries and data. Chosen winners will get VIP tickets to Wimbledon or Wimbledon merchandise.

robinsons wimbledon

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Australian Open ‘Social Leaderboard’ – Future of Datatainment?


At the end of last week I took a look at the different ways in which fans can keep up-to-date with events (on and off court) across various social platforms.  One which particularly took my interest was the IBM powered ‘Social Leaderboard’.

2012 saw the advent of ‘Datatainment’ from Man City’s Richard Ayers and we are seeing more and more visualisation of social media data around sporting events.  There was much talk but little action last year but Tennis Australia and event partner IBM have picked up the mantle at the start of 2013.

It is not 100% new, they ran a similar social leaderboard at last years event with Rafa Nadal, Roger Fereder and Novak Djokevic taking the top 3 places after more than 220,000 tweets were measured.  This year it looks like they have improved upon what they had experimented with the ability to take a deeper dive into the stats and a smoother looking interface.

Australian Open Social Leaderboard

Not only can you take a look at the overall leaderboard to see who is the top 10 but click on each player to see the graph showing sentiment and total tweets.  You can then look at the full event or the last 24 hours to see how they’re popularity has changed during different times.

This is a great way in which to give fans as little or as much data they want from the event in an easily digestible format.  They have obviously taken on learnings from last years event and used the 11 months imbetween integrating advances in technology to improve it functionality and usefulness.

Not only is it good for fans but commentators and reporters can take this info to help in their roles in covering the Open.  The addition of Twitter statistics and last updates from players on their accounts has become something we have become used to on sports and news programmes.  This is an area and set up I can see working for events and sponsors across a number of properties.

Australian Open Social Leaderboard

“We’re concentrating more than ever on engaging socially with our fans,” Daniel Lattimer, who works on the digital team for the event, told Mashable in a recent article. “We were the first Grand Slam on Twitter, and engagement has been going up there and on Facebook, so it’s important to provide people with that complement to the actual watching of the tennis during the tournament.”

Concentrating all these new platforms and social networks into one area within the site, the ‘Fan Centre’ is the way in which the organisers are using to create a ‘Social Media hub’ (something we have discussed in length here at UKSN).  Somewhere fans can go to discover different ways in which they can consume content and an aggregator for everything they are doing digitally.

Will we see more of these data driven microsites?  Yes, we definitely will.  Twitter works hard with sports and entertainment brands and events to constantly push the boundaries and integrate Twitter more and more into what they are doing.  We know people use it especially around big events so this is the next step on.

It may be a quiet year for sport – compared to 2012 – but expect to see more innovations coming our way and planning for the World Cup in 2014 very much in mind.  For now lets enjoy this new platform at the Australian Open (come on Andy!) and wonder what is going to come up next in sport and digital.  Something around the Superbowl I have no doubt!

Australian Open Social Leaderboard

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